Local student brings music to underprivileged students

Spencer Wong, a junior at Santa Fe Christian High School, heard the call one day when he read in the newspaper that the music programs have been cut from public elementary schools due to California school budget cuts. Spencer, an advanced clarinet and saxophone player, is the lead clarinetist of his school band and has been a member of the band since fourth grade. Under the direction of Mr. David Hall, SFC’s band director, Spencer is the steady force in the school’s Eagle marching band, Pep band and concert band.

Realizing that he is fortunate enough to have his own instruments and the benefit of weekly private music lessons, Spencer decided to do something to give back to the community. Spencer contacted the education and community program manager of the Community Opus Project, Lauren Widney, and offered to volunteer his time to give free music lessons to the underprivileged, low-income students in various elementary schools in Chula Vista.

The Community Opus Project is launched by the San Diego Youth Symphony with the goal of bridging the gap between those who have access to music education and those who will have to see their musical aspirations unfulfilled.

Spencer visited Rosebank Elementary School in Chula Vista and impressed the fourth- through sixth-graders with a piece from “Concerto for clarinet No.3" by Carl Stamitz. Spencer was thrilled that more hands went up wanting to play the clarinet after his performance.

Spencer will be visiting various elementary schools in Chula Vista to provide weekly music lessons to bring music back to the classrooms. He is hoping that someday there will be enough state funding to the public schools so the music programs can be revived and the dreams of becoming musicians in these young people can be fulfilled.